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Ryan Murphy Casts Lady Gaga In The Next American Horror Story Chapter

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(PCM) The first official casting news for the next chapter of the hit FX series “American Horror Story” has been revealed. “Mother Monster”, herself, Lady Gaga revealed via Twitter that she has been cast as a series regular for the next chapter of Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology.

The announcement of Lady Gaga joining the AHS family marks the first official casting announcement for the new season of the hit FX drama. We also learned that the theme for the next chapter will be “hotel”!  No official premiere date has been announced at this time other than it is planned for this October.

The rest of the casting for the new chapter is still up in the air as star Jessica Lange claimed several times that “American Horror Story: Freak Show” would be her last, Sarah Paulson will be starring as Marcia Clark in the upcoming Murphy directed project for FX titled “American Crime: The People vs. O.J. Simpson”, Emma Roberts will star in the new FOX comedy/horror series “Scream Queens”, Tessa Farmiga will be seen in ABC’s new series “L.A. Crime”, and both Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett are both expected to return to AHS for the next chapter.

The post Ryan Murphy Casts Lady Gaga In The Next American Horror Story Chapter appeared first on TV News.

American Horror Story Actor Ben Woolfe Passes Away At Age 34

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(PCM) We are deeply saddened to report that American Horror Story; Freak Show actor Ben Woolfe, who portrayed the character of “Meep”, has passed away due to injuries he sustained after being struck in the head by an SUV vehicle in Los Angeles, CA.

Sources close to the actor revealed to TMZ.com that Woolfe died after suffering from a stroke on Monday afternoon. The actor was being kept in heavy sedation in LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center since the time of the accident last week.

Woofle was struck in the head by the side-view mirror of an SUV as he was attempting to cross the road in Hollywood. The driver of the SUV is not being charged in the incident or ticketed because according to the police report Woofle was jay-walking at the time of the incident.

Woofles family and friends have been overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that has been bestowed to them by fans all over the world. A memorial service for the actor will take place in Santa Barbara sometime next week. Woofle’s organs will be donated and are said to help about 50 people who are on the organ donation list.

Our sincere condolences go out to Woofle’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time.

 

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Actress Judy Greer Discusses Archer Fan Base, Season Six And Just How They Know They’ve Made It!

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(PCM) It is truly a remarkable feat for almost any television show to last six seasons these days, especially one that happens to be animated, however FX’s “Archer” has not only beaten but surpassed all the odds as they enter in to their sixth season this year.

The show is both smart and wickedly funny with a voice cast that is second to none. We were recently able to catch up with Archer’s Judy Greer, who voices the character(s) Cheryl/Carol.  Despite being busy with multiple projects in addition to “Archer”, Greer answered some of our burning questions about season six, her character, the fans and more!  Be on the lookout for Greer to appear in two of 2015’s most highly anticipated films “Antman” and “Jurassic World”, as well!

With six seasons everyone is constantly wondering just where “Archer” will go next and how they are able to keep the show so fresh and engaging. Greer tells us ” I did wonder that, I guess, after the fourth season and then there was Archer Vice and I was like, oh, yes. That’s what they’re going to do, make it totally different. It was really fun. I can’t really believe it’s been so long because I think all of the cast members would answer the same that none of us ever thought it was even going to get picked up in the first place. So, like, we’re always just thrilled every year when we get our pickup.

It just feels, I don’t know, to me it still feels as fresh. I still laugh out loud every time I read a new script and that’s really rare. I really, I don’t know, I think that they’ve managed to keep the level—it’s stays as funny or it doesn’t seem like they’re losing energy or steam at all when they’re writing. Yes. It feels just as fresh as the beginning to me, honestly.”

We had to know, with all of her various projects in the works and several films coming out later this year, just how Greer is able to balance such a hectic schedule. She responds “Well, the guys at Archer make it really easy for all of us. I can record it anywhere I am if there’s a recording studio and that’s pretty cool. Where ever I am on location I can usually, even in the weirdest little places, usually there’s probably a recording studio and so we just work it out like that. I think one of the things that they liked about casting all of us is that we all work a lot and we all are very busy. They just make it really easy for us. And those on TV animated shows record the cast all together which seems like it’d be really fun but I’m really glad Archer doesn’t do that. That would make it a lot harder.”

Season six of “Archer” is going back to the basics a little bit and we are sure that Greer had some trouble saying goodbye to the “Cherlene” character. Greer reveals, “This season has been crazy. I’m going to miss “Cherlene,” but all good things must come to an end, I guess. They, I feel like, have definitely made it up to me this season. This season has just been really fun because now we work for the CIA so that changes everything. We have a boss. We never really had a boss before, you know. I mean, we had “Mallory” but not a boss-boss.

We were just like our own thing. It’s fun. It’s fun to see like how it’s changing all the characters like having to work for the CIA. I loved Archer Vice so much but I’ve been really into this season because it’s just fun to kind of go back to what we were doing in the beginning.”

This season also sees the “Archer” gang not only working for the CIA, but doing a little bit of babysitting as well.  Greer says “Yes. The babies become a real pain in our a**, man. We’re expected to deal with this baby a lot which we were not ready for. But it makes for a good comedy.”

We wanted to know if there is anything about the series that still surprises or catches Greer off guard. She reveals “You know, it’s funny because there was one major thing that happened this season that like blew me away. When I was reading it I couldn’t believe it happened. It was because it was like the opposite of a terrible thing. I don’t want to be a spoiler but it was a nice cool thing. Now that’s what blows me away when I read the script. It’s never like, how can you say that or how can we do that? But this one particular thing that happened towards the end of the season. I was like, what, because it was kind of awesome.”

A lot of “Archer” fans have developed a little bit of a crush on Greer’s character, so we had to know if she had any animated crushes herself. She reveals “I can’t think of one that I have. But if I was going to have a crush on a character, I mean, I don’t know. I might have to say it would be like “Malory.” “Malory” is so funny to me but also I just love Jessica Walter so much so maybe that’s why. She’s just the best. She’s so funny. There’s the thing about, I guess, because now at this point I feel like “Malory” is predictable but like never disappointing, you know.

I always get what I want out of that character. She’s so fabulous.”

The character of “Cheryl” is known for having some absolutely outrageous dialogue in the series. Greer even reveals that fans have approached her to record their outgoing voicemail messages screaming “You’re not my supervisor”, which is always hilarious.

Greer goes on to comment on the outrageous dialogue saying “I’m building up an immunity to all the sex and violence and weird, terrible. There was, actually, as I’m saying this, there was a line in an episode I recorded last week which is like a part one of a two part season finale. There was something that my character said that I was like, really guys. That’s really dark. But still, it’s always still a pleasure to say. Do you know what I mean? I’m like, oh, yes, I’ll go there but that’s really a dark place.”

Most of the time when we look into the lives of the “Archer” characters they are at their most despicable. However, they have to have some redeeming qualities, right?  Greer tells us that “Cheryl” “Loves her job. I’m not going to say she’s a hard worker. I don’t think she really is but she really loves her job. She’s very loyal to the Archer crew. I don’t know what we’re called anymore because we’re not ISIS anymore. Our no name band of misfits five. She’s very loyal to them and I think she expects that in return. I think she’s weirdly generous with her wealth. Like, letting everyone live in her mansion. Yes. She’s not stingy. 

And she’s got a simple taste in her wardrobe. I think you’ll notice that she probably never changes her clothes.”

When speaking about the “Archer” live shows and the fans, Greer says “Our fans are really cools fans, too. They’re not freaks, weirdoes, even though you think that they would be because our show is so freaky and weird. They’re all really supportive and really want to laugh. Doing a show, live show, any kind of live show for people who are dying to laugh is just the best, you know. I think it was a really cool idea. It was really fun the way they sort of turned it into like we’re going sit here on stage and read you live one of the episodes, it becomes this cool like interactive thing.

When we did it in Austin, Texas, we had someone signing two people doing sign language on the side which we were like, wait, what? Then we started seeing like a ton of dirty words just to see what those words were in sign language and it turned into a whole different show where we were like, “How do you do this word in sign language?” And the poor people doing the signing were like, “Oh my gosh.” We were making them say the dirtiest of the dirty words. Those poor guys. There was a young guy and he was just laughing. But then there was a woman who was like, “I don’t want to sign this.”

We asked Greer why she feels fans keep coming back to the series to which she responds “I guess it all kind of has to start with the writing, especially in an animated show. We’re not Pixar. Like, it is what it is and it’s meant to be that way. It’s supposed to be throwback. The look of the show is specific and intentional but we’re not breaking new ground with animation and computers and stuff which is the idea.

However, I think then it really just all comes from the writing. It’s so funny. Adam Reed writes every single episode. One guy writes everything. It’s pretty amazing. I feel like there’s a real sense of continuity within the show, even with an Archer Vice. The voices of our characters and I don’t mean it literally, I mean it figuratively. They really stay the same. There’s a ton of continuity and tone, character, character arch. I think that it’s just extremely rare to see any kind of TV show that completely written by one person, regardless of what any show runner will tell you. This is actually really that and I think that’s kind of what keeps people coming back and what keeps it so fresh and so funny.

Adam still is just as excited about it at episode whatever one we’re at. At the end of—I’ve recorded just last week the first of the two-part season finale and it’s just as funny and weird and exciting. Yes. I think that is why people keep coming back and why the fans are so avid because Adam is still so into it. We’re still so into it. I feel like we’re just as fresh and funny as we started out being.”

We were also curious about Greer’s craziest fan experience, as the fandom for “Archer” has continued to grow in leaps and bounds over the years. She answered “The first year that we went to Comic-Con they put us in this ballroom. It was really great. They showed an episode. We did a Q&A panel and it was really fun. There were about 500 people there. One year later we went back to Comic-Con so this would’ve been after the second season and there were 2000 people there. To see in one year our fan base grow in size that much so quickly like the Comic-Con was like we had to get you like a huger ballroom. That was sort of like a really cool fan moment that I remember.

All of us stood up on our chairs and took pictures of all the people because we couldn’t believe it because you think when you’re recording a TV show you really feel like you’re in a bubble. So to see it grow, our fans multiply like that, it was really special. It made me really happy for the guys who make the show, Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, especially, too, because they’re in Atlanta. We get a lot of love here in L.A. for Archer but in Atlanta it seems like they maybe they don’t get to see how great it is to be on Archer.”

Greer also spoke about some of the other various projects she has in works. She says that very soon she heads back to work on her other FX series “Married” and also recently had a film premiere at Sundance titled “Grandma” directed by Peter Weitz also starring Lily Tomlin and Julia Gardner. On top of that she also has both “Antman” and “Jurassic World” coming out this summer which is she is really excited about.

When asked if she shares any character traits with “Cheryl” in “Archer’, Greer replies “I kind of find that I want to. I don’t think I do. I don’t have the balls that she does. I wish I did. She doesn’t really have any kind of inner editor, does she. She pretty much just says whatever she thinks. I don’t do that. I wish I was more like that. I’m pretty good not sharing a lot of her other dreams. She’s a really intense person. I wonder if she even sleeps at night. I never really thought about it.”

“Archer” has also recently gotten their very own “adult” paraody film. Greer responds “that means we made it, right?”

Finally, Greer mentioned earlier that part of the finale was completed, so we wanted to know if she had any dream plans for “Cheryl”. Greer told us “I would love for her to maybe get to like do some missions. She does get to help with one mission this season. I probably can’t really spoil anything for the season finale or the guys will fly to L.A. from Atlanta and beat me up. So I can’t share anything about that but it really blew my mind when I read it. I’ve only read the first part. I haven’t read the second one yet. I haven’t recorded it but it’s pretty amazing. It’s kind of mind-blowing.

I don’t know. I’m really happy with where “Cheryl’s” at. I think it’s fun when she got to help out on a mission. That was really fun. But I know she’d just screw it up. I also think that maybe that’s a bad idea. I don’t know. I like when “Cheryl” and “Pam” are up to no good. It makes me really happy when the two of them like get an idea and then it’s so bad and it ruins everything. It makes me really happy.”

Archer airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific only on FX, so be sure to tune in!

 

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American Horror Story : Freak Show’s Denis O’Hare Talks Stanley’s Motives And Just Why Size Doesn’t Matter

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[Spoiler Alert: Article contains information about a future episode of AHS: Freak Show]

(PCM) One of the most beloved actors in the American Horror Story universe is without a doubt Denis O’Hare. He has brought fans some incredibly memorable characters throughout his time working on the series. We have seen him as burn victim Larry Harvey in American Horror Story season one “Murder House” and of course as doll fetishist Spaulding in “American Horror Story: Coven”, now O’Hare has taken on the character of Stanley on “American Horror Story: Freak Show” and despite looking a bit more normal, he is every bit as sinister and certainly boasts an extra special package (if you know what we mean).

We recently had a chance to catch up with Denis O’Hare to chat about his role in ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show”, his hope to return for the next installment and the ways in which American Horror Story and Ryan Murphy continue to push the envelope further and further with each and every season.

O’Hare tells us “While watching last week’s episode while I was standing in the road basically doing obscene things to Michael Chiklis I thought, can we push the envelope further? How much envelope is left? But we never know what’s going to happen. It’s Ryan’s world and we just wait for word.”

Denis-OHare2And as to whether he would like to come back next season and if so what type of character he would like to play O’Hare reveals “He [Ryan Murphy] would love for me to be in next season, but that’s an informal invitation. When I joined last year I signed a two year contract, so the idea is that I would come back for this year. But until he comes up with the idea and until he finds parts for us, we really have to wait. Last year I got a call, I think about mid-January, where he offered me Stanley, so this year if it all follows the same pattern I should be hearing from him sometime in January or February.

In terms of what I want to play again, I trust him. He’s got really good taste when it comes to fitting us to our roles. I feel really happy with what I’ve been able to do so far. I loved Spalding. I thought he was such an unusual character and a great technical challenge. But I really do love Stanley. And Stanley’s kind of normal. He’s not disfigured in any way, I mean, really. And he’s charming in a way. So, I’ll take another Stanley.”

When asked if there was anything about the role of Stanley that made O’Hare think about the gay community and the ways in which it has changed, he replied “I think what’s so great about Ryan and Brad and the team of writers is that they’re never content to simply write about one thing. They’re always using the occasion to raise awareness or consciousness.  And certainly this series this year seems to be about physical abnormalities and what we consider to be a freak, or normal, but there are subtler applications.

And one of the subtler applications, of course, is the way that gay people were thought of and treated. And it’s really interesting to see Dell as one expression of that, somebody who’s so deeply closeted that he actually considers hanging himself in the last episode, to someone like Stanley, who just seems to roll with it. It seems to be part of his lifestyle, which is admittedly not a healthy lifestyle; he’s a professional liar, but there is a sense in which he’s a lot more, I guess, at ease with it.

But he’s hiring hustlers to basically fulfill himself, so that’s certainly not healthy. And he doesn’t seem to be in any kind of healthy relationship, so I think it is pretty amazing to have that snapshot of what it was like to be a gay person in the 1950s. I think it’s really cool.”

O’Hare also explains to us just what keeps him coming back to American Horror Story and we think fans can agree, saying “It’s one of those great things that happens in American Horror Story, mixed in with the horror and sometimes even the camp, are moments of real bathos and real tragedy. And I think that’s what keeps me coming back, at least.”

He also gives us a little bit of insight into Stanley’s mindset in the series revealing “He’s looking to better his own personal world, and he’s very sunny in that way. And he represents a strange strain of American optimism that sort of gets married to that can-do spirit, and that American entrepreneurial spirit, and he’s all of those things wrapped into one. I share a little bit of that, but I don’t share the more twisted aspects, I think.”

Denis-OHare3We jokingly say “He’s just misunderstood”, to which O’Hare responds “as an actor it’s always our job to advocate for our characters, and there’s a lot I can advocate for Stanley. Everyone keeps yelling at me for killing Ma Petite, and I’m like “I didn’t touch her. I didn’t kill her.” “Yes, but you encouraged Dell.” I’m like, “I didn’t tell him specifically to kill Ma Petite.” So, I don’t understand. I am misunderstood. You’re right

We were also curious as to whether or not the actors are given any back story for the characters that they will be portraying. O’Hare comments “No, we are given nothing almost, really. I think part of Ryan’s brilliance is his trust in who he hires, and I think he hires us because he knows we’re all creative, inventive people and game.”

He goes on to say “When I first got this part there was a notion that he might be based on Tod Browning, and so I ran around and got all of his movies and we watched Freaks and we watched some Dracula movies, and I got a great biography called Dark Carnival, and absorbed that. Then as we got closer to shooting I realized that that wasn’t going to happen, because the time frame was wrong. We had to change the time frame.

But what I took away from that was the idea that I think all con men, all grifters, all hustlers, have dabbled in many things, and so I made up the story that he was a vaudevillian, that Stanley, somewhere in his background was a song and dance man. So, I tried to always have him a little bit light on his feet, a little bit whistling and singing, and having music always in his fingers and his head, and that really informed something about the character for me.

In the service of back story at one point I was told that Maggie and I were probably going to be father and daughter, and then that sort of shifted to no, they sometimes pretend to be father and daughter, and then that shifted to be no, they’re just equals. So, we never quite know what’s happening.

I did know that I wanted a mustache. I feel very strongly about that. And I remember I came in when Ryan was shooting and I was on set for approval, and my one conversation with him after we had first talked, I came in and he didn’t like the mustache I first had, it was too fat, and he wanted something more Errol Flynn-like, and so we did two more versions. And it was mine, by the way, that I grew, we were trimming my own mustache. And he finally liked one. And before I left I said, “So, I think Stanley’s a whistler.” And Ryan said, “Whistle away.” And that was our last note. I took it from there.”

When asked if there was any type of theme or type of character that he would like to one day explore, O’Hare tells us “You know, I’ve been racking my brains about this. And thank God it’s not in my hands, because I feel like they’ve covered so much territory so well. They really have touched on ghosts pretty extensively in Murder House; I felt that was a lot about ghosts. Asylum, obviously was brilliant, and Asylum had the alien abduction theme, which if anything I’m going to say I would expand upon that.  

On a body snatcher type thing, or something to do with aliens among us, or transformation. That feels like it’s right. But they did, as I say, touch upon that a little bit. Coven, obviously covered all of witches. And Freak Show is a brilliant idea that covers the grotesqueries of life. So, outside of satanic cults and torture porn, I’m not quite sure what’s left. As I say, I’m glad it’s up to them, because I guess my mind doesn’t work this way well enough. But I’m excited and anxious to see what they’re going to come up with, and I will say yes to whatever I’m told to do.”

Denis-OHare4The characters portrayed by O’Hare throughout the other seasons have always features some kind of physical abnormality, however with this season it is not really a deformity so to say, but ..

O’Hare tells us “It’s funny, there are a lot of resonances or uber themes that come back from season to season. Kathy Bates lost her head in two seasons, which I think is pretty funny, this season and then last season. There was a weird thing between Jessica and I, we always were in some sort of symbiotic relationship, never healthy. In year one I was her lover but being used by her. And in year three I was her servant/wanna be lover. This year I’m definitely not a romantic interest in her, but I’m in an unhealthy symbiotic partnership of sorts. But I love the fact that he creates these large uber themes.

As far as making me be deformed, he likes me this year. I didn’t have to sit in the makeup chair very long. I think the first year it was three and a half hours. Last year it was only about an hour and a half. And this year it was really easy. I got some mustache grooming, and I got some bad Florida age spots put on my face, and then I got my lovely toupee on and that was it.

And I love, by the way, makeup. I really am a fan of transformative makeup. I feel like it goes halfway to getting you to the character, so I’m always happy about it. We’ll see what happens next year.”

O’Hare also jokingly reveals his love for the incredible American Horror Story fan base saying “I love the fans, American Horror Story fans. They sometimes scare me a little bit. But I really do love them, and I love their enthusiasm, and I love the stuff they come up with. There’s a guy on Instagram who has done all of the characters’ makeup, I don’t know if you’ve seen it but it’s pretty amazing, he’s taken on all the characters. He does me. He does Jessica. He does Patti LaBelle. He does Dandy. He even does Ma Petite. So that kind of interesting devotion I think is to be fostered. I think it’s an interesting evolution. We’ll see where it takes us. But for the moment I’m finding it fun.”

Denis-OHare5During his time on American Horror Story O’Hare has played three very different character types, but we were curious if there was any common thread linking them together. O’Hare reveals “That’s interesting. I do feel like all the characters are always yearning for something. I love finding out new characters. And these, it seems obvious to me that they’re all yearning for some way of transcending their life into something bigger.

It was most obvious I think in the case of Larry, who was, in a way, wanting to escape the hell that he was bound in by his actions and by the consequences of his actions, his wife and kids being burned up in a fire. And what Larry wanted was release.

I felt like Spalding was in many ways the same way. I joked with Ryan, I said, “I think Spalding’s ultimate dream is to become a doll,” this is before we got to the end, and I thought wouldn’t it be cool if at the end we saw Spalding on the shelves and he finally had achieved his dream.

For Stanley, oddly enough, we have those glimpses of him at the morbidity museum while they’re doing a toast, and he’s sort of assuming he’s going to be fêted, he’s going to be the one who is called out for recognition. And what Stanley wants is to be respected. He wants to be accepted into larger culture. I think that has to do with a lot of the characters I’ve played, is they’re yearning for some sort of transcendence. They want to arrive somewhere, a place of peace, or a place of recognition. And I think it’s really cool.”

We have recently learned that all of the seasons of American Horror Story are connected in some way or in the same universe. We asked Denis just how that may affect any future seasons. He replied “I know that they put a lot of thinking into the resonances, as I said. The biggest, obvious resonance this year was Pepper being in both Asylum and in our season. But there are actually two other ones coming up that are very, very strong resonances which are fascinating, I think.”

AHS4We may have just seen our glimpse at another one of those connections that again tie Pepper to Asylum with the new released still photos from this weeks all new episode which feature actress Lily Rabe reprising her role as Sister Mary Eunice.

O’Hare also adds “As far as what he will do for the fifth season, now that he knows that that’s his game plan I think it makes it a little easier in terms of figuring out who the characters are and what the setting is. The biggest challenge, of course is the setting. That dictates some of this. If you set it too far in the past you actually make it difficult to make connections. This Asylum and Freak Show being so close together, only 10 years or so, made that a lot easier. I’m just as excited as you are to see what he’ll do.”

American Horror Story as a franchise is very much into expressing various forms of fear. When asked which fears he would like to see explored O’Hare responded “Wow! That’s a very good question. What I think is so brilliant about what Ryan first said when he set upon this course is that they were going to explore the different genres of horror, and I love that notion of that there are different kinds of horror. And you’re right, there are different kinds of fear. I don’t feel like we’ve really, well we did claustrophobia because Kathy Bates was buried alive last year. But I don’t feel like we’ve really, really explored the idea of things closing in on people. That’s a real big fear.

I think it’s really hard to do agoraphobia, fear of open spaces. That’s kind of a hard one. But we haven’t explored animal fears, like fears of dogs and fears of spiders, and icky things like that. We had snakes, but really, really icky insects we haven’t really explored that a whole lot.

And as I said about the alien thing, we haven’t really explored the whole fear of extraterrestrial monsters. And if you think about all of the movies in the ’50s where part of the thing was whether it was Godzilla or some sort of, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, actual creatures who are actually fearful, the minotaur from Coven certainly comes to mind, but that was more to do with witchcraft than to do with the actual monster itself. I guess monsters would be an interesting fear to explore.”

To conclude on a fun note, obviously Stanley’s deformity, or lack there of in some people opinion, would be one that maybe 99.9% of men would like to have, so would he dispel the rumor that size really doesn’t matter?  O’Hare replies “Ryan and I have chatted about this a little bit and we’ve talked about the limits of what one can show on FX, a different cable maybe, HBO, watch out. But in a way I love the fact that we actually don’t get to lay our hands on Mr. Snake, or whatever we call him, because it’s great in an old-fashioned way to see everybody else’s reaction to it, and I’ve actually got people going, “What’s down there? What is that? Is it double-headed? Is it like—does it explode? What is it?”

And I think there’s a size issue. I think there’s also an angry issue, as he said last week. I don’t think it’s really attractive. Actually, if people were to look at it and were given the chance they wouldn’t go, “Oh sure, I’ll take that.” “Oh, wait a minute I’m not sure where I’d find a willing partner for that.” But I think it’s a great play on a joke amongst men. Size does matter to them. Please, nothing is too big. And I think it’s hilarious that Ryan’s playing it as a joke that well, I guess there is an outer limit.”

Be sure to tune in for an all-new episode of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” airing at 10pm on FX. Please note that the show will take a brief hiatus for the holidays and will resume with episode 11 on January 7th, 2015.

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Kathy Bates Reveals Working With Ryan Murphy Rejuvenated Her Spirit

** Spoiler Alert: Article contains plot information about last week’s episode of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” **

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(PCM) Actress Kathy Bates portrays the character of Ethel Darling of the FX series “American Horror Story: Freak Show” created by Ryan Murphy.

We first saw Bates team up with Ryan Murphy to take on the role of Madame LaLaurie in last seasons “American Horror Story: Coven”, so we were absolutely thrilled to hear that she would be returning for “American Horror Story: Freak Show” as well.

Fans of the show know that we sadly said goodbye to Ethel in last weeks episode, however knowing Ryan Murphy and the series there is always a chance that she could come back … right?

We had a chance to catch up with Kathy Bates to answer some questions about “American Horror Story: Freak Show”, how she relates to her character, and just how Ryan Murphy was able to rejuvenate both her career and spirit.

Often times actors and actresses will find ways in which they can identify personally with the role they have taken on. For the character of Ethel, Bates reveals it was “her authenticity and her strength, her struggle and also since I’m a cancer survivor, although she certainly had the liver cancer. I really identified with that scene in the doctor’s office.”

Ethel was the bearded lady of Elsa’s freak show troupe, so we had to ask about the beard and what went into its’ creation. Bates tells us “We went through some getting used to it at the beginning in terms of application and what different pieces we would use on the face in order to keep the faces as mobile as possible and also so that the makeup people wouldn’t have to mess with me too much during the day.  It felt like a little hummingbird’s nest.”

We also wondered if sporting the beard for the show made Bates want to play with different gender roles for this character. She revealed “Oh, God. One of my fantasies would have been that, in order to break out and see the world that “Ethel” would’ve gone out as a man and been in a suit and a fedora and everything else just to see what it was like out there. Especially since I don’t have breasts anymore, there’s always an upside to that, you can do character tits. I think it would’ve been a lot of fun to do that.”

Kathy-Bates2Bates also revealed that she credits Ryan Murphy with “not only rejuvenating my career, but rejuvenating my spirit”. Bates says that she was feeling very low after the cancellation of her show “Harry’s Law” which was directly followed by a diagnosis of breast cancer and having a double mastectomy. She says “Anyway, I was in a very low mood, let’s say, and my friend Jessica Lange spoke to Ryan. I had a great meeting with Ryan, and my inner child just woke up during that meeting and got so excited about the character of “Delphine LaLaurie.”

It has been strongly rumored that Bates is still in New Orleans, which is where “American Horror Story: Freak Show” is filming, so we were curious if there was any chance that Ethel could be returning or if she felt her character had any more to contribute, especially after her shocking death at the hands of her “supposed” friend Elsa.

Bates comments “Well, I always say, and it’s an old saying in showbiz, leave them laughing. You want to leave them when they’re still in love with you. I trust Ryan. It’s been a great go for me, and we’ll see what happens next.”

Of course fans are also wondering if we will be seeing Kathy Bates on the next installment of American Horror Story once “Freak Show” has wrapped up. She says “I really hope so. It’s just such a unique situation to be in as an actor for television that you’ve got a whole new character to create for the next year. I think Ryan really appreciates older actresses who seem to have been—well, I said it earlier. He’s rejuvenated our careers, and he’s put us in front of the public at our best. We have a younger fan base now, and that’s all the reasons why I would come back. It’s a wonderful opportunity, and I can’t wait to hear what the next part he might propose would be.”

As for what type of character she would like to play if asked to return for the next “American Horror Story” installment. Bates reveals “Well, I was telling Sarah [Paulson], I said, okay, I would love to be dressed in all of St. John, St. John mitts and stuff and I would love to be sitting in this beautiful, carved chair and I would love to have cloudy eyes, totally cloudy that you couldn’t see out of and be a modern day Delphic oracle. I don’t know why I see that character.

Then, she gets to sit down all the time because I hate getting up and walking around. I’m so d*** lazy. It would just be so much fun for her to be there, and in a kind of rarified eye cloud, as it were, and have her expend her advice every now and then. That’s just a joke. I’m sure Ryan will come up with something much better than that.” 

Bates adds, “The Crone. She would be The Crone”.

Kathy-Bates3The “American Horror Story” franchise has been well-known and loved for its’ very strong female roles. Bates was able to work with both Angela Bassett and Jessica Lange first on “Coven” and now again on “Freak Show”. It has been stated that this will be Lange’s last season of “American Horror Story”. Bates comments “I won’t think about it. I don’t want to think about Jessica not being here next year. We’ve gotten to be such close friends now over the last couple of years, and I love her dearly. Working with her is a mystery I never want to solve.”

She goes on to say “Angela, she rocks it. I just saw the trailer on BuzzFeed for Whitney. I’m getting chills now talking about it because I just watched it last night, twice; it looks amazing. I love working with her as an actress, she’s a powerhouse. I love the friendship that we had this year with “Ethel,” and “Desiree” had more to do together with those characters. I think that would’ve been a really interesting arc to explore.”

When speaking about learning Ethel’s fate in the series, Bates comments “I thought, okay, there it is in black and white. I thought, well, it’s been a good run and we’ll see what happens next; you never know with American Horror Story.”

We were also curious about what it was like working with “American Horror Story: Freak Show’s” leading men specifically Evan Peters and Michael Chiklis. Bates says “Well, I’ve shot a lot with Evan. I don’t know what it is, but I always forget my lines when I’m working with him. I don’t know if it’s because he’s so cute or when I just get lost in his eyes. When you look into his eyes, working with him, he’s just so real; it just knocks me for a loop. I know it sounds silly saying that.

Kathy-Bates4We had a funny scene—well, I can’t tell you about that. Anyway, Michael and I just have a solidity there that I’ve appreciated with him. He’s a sweetheart of a man, and just the opposite of what he looks like. I’ve enjoyed that. I felt like I’ve worked with him before somehow.”

We also asked Kathy to speak about the amazing scene shared between her and Jessica Lange in last week’s episode. She commented “Well, relief when we were done. Let me start back at the beginning. When we got the script, and we actually had a couple of meetings with the director on it to talk about the scene itself and how we were going to approach it because on the page it looks like Greek theater; it’s one monologue after another monologue after another monologue. With these kinds of arguments, in real life, it would be people would be talking over each other and all of that kind of stuff. It wasn’t constructed like that, so we couldn’t approach it from that direction.

We did a lot of talking about what was going on in the character’s minds and where they were coming from and would this be enough to—I know one concern from Jessica was, would this be enough for her to turn around and kill Ethel. Then, the shooting of it, oh my, Lord. For some reason it got scheduled on the last day of the week at 11:00 at night. She, especially, was just dragging because she had been working all day and all week.

Then, I had no idea she was going to knock the table over and do all of that. I thought the blocking was good, too. I thought Brad Buecker blocked it very interestingly because she’s got this huge tent; we were circling each other. That’s what we tried to accomplish was, to make those monologues really effective and real, even though they were written as these two titans, Greek gods fighting.”

There has been so much debate and controversy online surrounding Ethel’s Baltimore accent that we had to ask about all the fuss. Bates says “Well, gosh, that accent has become so controversial. I didn’t really have a dialect coach to help me, that’s first of all. I knew she was from Baltimore. Ryan said, but light. When I got into it, I studied Mikulski a lot. I actually had a dialect coach friend of mine spell it out phonetically, what it was supposed to be.

Then online, I found, if you can believe this, how to speak Baltimorese, and from that you had a link that could go to the “Star Spangled Banner” in Baltimorese, which really helped me prepare every day. Although, I did stay in it for the first—I spoke that way every day. It just got to be sort of ridiculous how perplexing and how people got turned off by it and there were things online, they got two scholars, which I just couldn’t believe.

At times I thought, oh my God, am I not doing this right? A close friend of Ryan’s was on set for a while, from that area, and he really helped me with it. You can’t do it lightly, it’s a heavy accent and I also wanted it to sound like old-fashioned working class, so that’s even more different than what people are used to hearing. Then, the funny thing was is that a guy asked two of his friends who were from Baltimore what they thought of my accent. They said, “What accent?” I feel like, okay, case closed. I’m moving on.”

“American Horror Story: Freak Show” will air on Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. on FX

The post Kathy Bates Reveals Working With Ryan Murphy Rejuvenated Her Spirit appeared first on TV News.

Jimmy Smits Says Upcoming Sons Of Anarchy Finale Will Be Both “Touching and “Grim”

**Spoiler Alert: Article contains spoilers about last week’s episode of Sons Of Anarchy**

Jimmy-Smits1

(PCM) The final ride for the hit FX series “Sons Of Anarchy” is quickly coming to an end and we have been absolutely devastated by the loss of many of our beloved characters throughout the course of the show’s final season.

We are still reeling from the deaths of both Gemma and Unser in last week’s epic “Red Rose” episode and we have to wonder where Mayhem and/or the dreaded reaper will strike in the upcoming series finale.

We recently spoke with actor Jimmy Smits who plays Nero Padilla in the series about his thoughts on the finale, where Nero will end up and the overall emotional roller coaster that has made up the final season of our beloved show.

While Smits can obviously not reveal too many details about the upcoming finale which will air Tuesday, Dec. 9th, he did tell us a bit about how Nero is dealing with the revelation about Gemma’s death.  He says “You’ll see more than guilt. It’s touching in a lot of ways. It’s sad. But, it’s grim too.”

Smits also feel that fans are going to be satisfied with the outcome of the finale. He says “I don’t think audiences are going to be disappointed at all.”

We mentioned to Smits how happy we were to see that Nero has made it to the end of the series and Smits jokingly responds “He made it till the end, but maybe not to the end, end.”

Smits goes on to say “I think I was a little nervous getting ready to open that script up to see who was going down next, because we were like in that somebody is going down every episode mode here. It’s all part of the culmination of what has been brewing in Kurt’s head for all this time. It’s good.”

Jimmy-Smits2Smits also gave us a brief hint about where Nero ends up saying “I was little surprised about the way Nero specifically ends up. But I get it. I totally get it.”

He also reveals his opinion on the way that series creator Kurt Sutter has ended the show saying, “I think that Kurt ended it really beautifully and it has all of those elements that have been the signature of the show throughout the seven seasons.”

We know that in the last episode Nero sent Unser up to Gemma’s fathers home which ultimately led to his demise rather than going himself. We were curious as to what Smits hypothetically thought would have happened if Nero had gone instead of Unser.

Smits replies “If Nero had gone, there would have been probably three dead bodies there. All of them would have gone down in some way. I think that was his big fear that he didn’t want to try to have to make that particular choice, but I don’t think that the Nero character understood how profound and deep the relationship that Unser has with them also. I guess he thinks that because of the police element or line in Unser’s character thread was there that he would be able to exact some kind of calm out of the situation.”

We also spoke about the scene at the end of “Red Rose” where Nero is seen sitting on Gemma’s bed and sobbing. It left us wondering what will Nero do next. Smits comments “The pain definitely of being in that room and the loss that he felt and what was going through the mind in the close-up shot was I was trying to play a what the next move is and to try to keep it percolating in terms of active, is there a shade of revenge or something that’s much more active than just the pain. I don’t know if I achieved that, but I just had to keep it alive in my mind because you didn’t what was going to happen in the episode that follows. “

He goes on to say “What I know, there’s enough trust there that I know that when we turn pages, there’s always going to be a nice surprise for everyone.”

Smits also spoke about what he feels resonates well with fans of a show like “Sons Of Anarchy” saying “I think Kurt was really successful with the writers in terms of like presenting this kind of like Shakespearian story in a lot of ways that has a lot of emotionality and humor and tragedy and all of that, violence, but at the same time has this thread of family and brotherhood, so those are the things that I think really engage audiences with the show specifically.”

Smits also revealed what he has taken away as an actor from his time on the show saying “The whole thing about the strength of family through thick and thin, and even though the whole thing about family is questionable with this particular family, but that’s something that was like an ongoing the club becomes the family and when things are done against the family, how the family kind of like sticks together and the glue. That was just like a running theme and to see that group from being a fan and watching them on television to partaking with them on the performance level, I think that that bond was really, really strong, so that’s something that I’ll always remember about that particular group and about what they conveyed not only in the writing, but on a performance level as well.”

Be sure to tune in for the upcoming series finale of FX’s “Sons Of Anarchy” on Tuesday, December 9th at 10pm.

 

The post Jimmy Smits Says Upcoming Sons Of Anarchy Finale Will Be Both “Touching and “Grim” appeared first on TV News.

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